FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - Ice skating is coming to the Pee Dee for the whole month of December. The Florence Civic Center will host public skate days from now until January 3rd.
It's been two years since the Florence Civic Center arena was transformed into an ice rink. The team will work 24/7 around the clock until the grand opening. What usually takes days to build with a large group of workers, this team built their very own ice cart with a 300 gallon irrigation tank with a wand on the back. The cart was used to freeze the concrete and spray the ice with white paint on Monday. Director of Operations, Paul Beard says this way saves them time and money.
"Once you have about four layers on the floor, you mix up a paint solution, an eco-friendly paint and come out and spray the ice white. People think the concrete is painted but the ice is actually painted," Beard said.
The cart goes back and forth spraying until the ice is one inch thick. Beard says it's a lot of work, but it's all worth being the only place around with an ice rink. "Only place you can find it unless you wait for it to get cold enough outside and freeze your backyard. This is the only place you can go," said Beard.
The Florence Civic Center was once the home of the minor league hockey team, Pee Dee Pride which started in 1997. Tony Rogers, Operations Manager has worked at the civic center ever since. Rogers says, "That's how I got my job here. When the hockey came, that's when I came. Actually, I love the ice period. It's something I took a niche to, it's my thing."
The Civic Center is also giving back to the community. They will donate $1 of each ticket sale to go towards the Florence County School Districts.
Rogers said, "Well its for the kids, so I enjoy doing it for the kids, just make sure you bring them out."
"We think now with this whole month time frame, the excitement will just build and build and we hope that by mid month, we're really rolling and got a lot of folks out here enjoying it."
Ticket sales are $5 for children 12 and under and $7 for adults. You can rent skates there for $3 extra or bring your own.